We at FFGR, Inc. always encourage our adopters to use tick and flea preventatives regularly for their greyhounds to keep them healthy. We use preventatives regularly for all of the dogs in our foster program and make sure that all dogs going into adoptive homes have had a heartworm test, etc.
While we do live in an area that experiences cold temperatures in the winter, this region has been seeing a significant increase in the tick population in recent years and a higher incidence of lyme disease in dogs. It is up to the adopter to determine how often and when tick and flea preventives are used. However, we highly recommend becoming educated about the risks of not treating dogs.
Many of the dogs that we receive into our adoption program from the warmer climates may have had tick related diseases that have been successfully treated. We always inform our adopters (and provide medical records) of any treatment for these diseases. In most cases, once a dog has been treated, the diseases will not return as long as the dog is kept on preventatives.
The problem with TBDs is that often, when an animal displays symptoms, most adopters (and vets as well) do not always think to test for a TBD. Many times symptoms such as limping, walking with a painful gait, loss of appetite, swollen joints, fever and fatigue are treated with medications to aleviate the symptoms, but the cause of the symptoms are not diagnosed.
Don't under estimate the damage that a tick borne disease can do. Some of these diseases are deadly if not treated. The best way to approach this issue is through prevention. Make sure your dog has a heartworm test once a year if you do not regularly use preventatives. If you do use prevenatives, make sure your dogs are getting their treatments on a regular basis. Most preventative come with reminder stickers that can be added to your calendar to help remember to treat your dog.
An excellent web site for learning more about tick borne diseases is www.ticksanddogs.com. You can access this web site by clicking on the title of this thread. It not only provides detailed information about tick borne diseases, but you can actually do a seach on your zip code to learn the extent of reported tick borne diseases in your area. This information should help you determine how important it is to keep up with regularly scheduled treatments.
We all want our dogs to be healthy, and one way to help them is to eliminate the threat of a tick borne disease.